The Nightcap Before Christmas – 15 of The Most Sophisticated Late Bars in Dublin
So many friends, so little time! The nights are longer and not just because of the Earth’s tilt, but thanks to the many opportunities to go out and enjoy yourself, especially if you have some time off during the holiday season.
And of course, once you’re out and about, a meet up for coffee and cake can easily evolve into dancing until the wee hours, but as insomniacs with a soft spot for partying will know, most places will ring the last orders bell at a time that seems convenient only for Cinderella.
Pubs and bars in Ireland with an ordinary licence will serve until 11:00 pm on Sundays, 11:30 pm Mondays to Thursdays and until 12:30 am on Fridays and Saturdays, and an accepted “drinking up” time of half an hour is what separates guests from closing time.
If you fancy lingering longer, the solution is moving to a venue with a late licence (or choosing one to start with), as these are allowed to serve until 2:30 am.
We have chosen 15 of our favourite late bars where you won’t only find longer opening hours, but also a sophisticated vibe. Just because it’s past midnight doesn’t mean you need to end the night at a place less than excellent. Expect fantastic drinks, stylish interiors and great craic in some of the best late bars in Dublin.
This Parisian style venue offers an enchanting setting where you’ll be surrounded by the elegance of Art Nouveau decor and treated to flawless service from brunch to nightcap. Expect its continental charm to evolve as the night goes on, from a sophisticated café to a jazzy cocktail bar with great tunes for dancing.
Where: 40 Dawson Street,Dublin 2
More information: cafeenseine.ie
This coquettish nightclub is a glamorous spot to chill until late. Relax in their plush red velvet seats and let the dim light from their ornate chandeliers illuminate your dancing. They have a fine selection of cocktails, both signature and classic, as well as craft beer. Doors open seven nights a week from 11:00 pm.
Where: 1-2, Adam Court, Grafton Street
More information: lilliesbordello.ie
While they close at 11:00 pm on school nights, Fridays and Saturdays are party time at this stunning café, bar and restaurant within a majestic former church. Their cocktail list is filled with exciting signature tipples and once you move from the main bar to the spacious dance floor area, you’ll find top DJs providing an upbeat soundtrack for your night.
Where: Junction of Mary St & Jervis St, Dublin
More information: thechurch.ie
This chic restaurant and bar is as versatile as it is enchanting. With a beautiful rooftop area, it’s the place to enjoy some of the best views of Dublin City’s skyline while sipping on a trendy cocktail, not just because they look amazing, but because they keep their menu updated with the coolest tipples and use homemade cordials and tinctures. Ah, they’ve also great music and a swing!
Where: 33 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin 2
More information: sophies.ie
An “Izakaya” is the Japanese equivalent to an Irish pub. A bar where sushi and small dishes are served along with beer and sake. This Dublin rendition of the concept adds wine and cocktails to the mix. Enjoy authentic flavours and decor brought by the owners from Japan. Cosy up in its warm and intimate basement space and treat your palate to proper sake or a tipple that catches your fancy while enjoying the tunes coming from the venue’s DJ booth.
Where: 12/13 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2
More information: yamamori.ie/yamamori-izakaya
This laid-back bar changes as the day progresses. Located just off Grafton Street, it’s a brilliant spot to catch up over lunch or coffee but as it gets darker, it gets better and better. Their cocktails are some of the most creative in town and they are one of only two bars in Ireland pouring unpasteurised tank beer – a delicious reason to visit on its own merit. Music gets more upbeat too, from soft and conversation friendly during dinner time to proper party tunes later on. Lemon & Duke opens late on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Where: 1 Royal Hibernian Way, Duke Lane Upper, Dublin
More information: lemonandduke.ie
Relax in either of the two stunning Georgian rooms that compose this opulent venue while treating yourself to a re-imagined classic cocktail from their eclectic list. Visit The Gallery, and admire the numerous paintings covering the walls, or linger by The Georgian Room, where an open fire and crystal chandeliers provide a glamorous setting for all day food service, cocktail masterclasses and drinks served until late. Farrier & Draper opens late on Thursday (1:00 am), Friday and Saturday (3:00 am).
Where: Powerscourt Townhouse Centre, 59 William St S, Dublin 2
More information: farrieranddraper.ie
Bow Lane goes from weekend brunch hot spot to late bar with ease. The venue has it all, a rarely seen but most welcome combination of an exciting wine list and superb craft cocktails, as well as appetising bar bites. Sophisticated yet casual, its fusion of art deco with an industrial twist hints at its vibes – smart with an edge and a big dash of great music.
Where: 17 Aungier St, Dublin
More information: bowlane.ie/social
If you want a more mellow but nonetheless prolonged night out, this charming Francophile hidden gem is for you. Dublin’s oldest wine bar is a crimson coloured celebration of fine wines with dim lights and Moulin-Rougesque interiors. Just the place you’d choose to seduce a (wine) lover as they have over 350 bottles to choose from, including over 40 by the glass. Open seven days a week until 2:00 am.
Where: 28 South Anne Street, Dublin 2
More information: lacavewinebar.com
This award-winning venue is home to one of Ireland’s most appealing cocktail menus. Expect creativity and flair from its talented bartenders and the finest bar bites from its kitchen. You can join the celebration under its distinctive umbrella installation as their street parties are now famous, or sit back and relax indoors in a comfy chair while drinking a cocktail surrounded by art-deco beauty floor to ceiling. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Zozimus bar is open until 3:00 am.
Where: Centenary House, Anne’s Lane, Anne Street South
More information: zozimusbar.ie
Party like Gatsby at this 30’s inspired Georgian Bar that might look pretty old school, but is full of life and the resident DJ plays very modern tunes. Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday until very, very late, it frequently hosts top notch live acts and bands. Over 28’s only.
Where: 58 Harcourt St, Saint Kevin’s, Dublin
More information: theblackdoor.ie
Open from 10:30 am until late Thursday to Saturday, this bar is what happens when a traditional Irish pub embraces trends while staying true to itself. There is always something going on at this super friendly spot of comfortable, old-school style; quizzes, parties and sport screenings and whether you fancy a pint of the black stuff or something more crafty, they’ll look after you. Extra points for a very good selection of Irish whiskey and spirits. From December 13th to New Year’s Eve, it will open late every night (except on the 24th and 25th of December).
Where: 5 Sandford Rd, Dublin 6
More information: mcsorleys.ie
Can’t decide between craft beer and cocktails? This quirky venue will help you keep your options open until the wee hours. Tunes by guest DJs will provide a soundtrack to your decision-making process. With a menu of signature cocktails all under a tenner, it’s one of the nicest budget-friendly alternatives in the area. Thanks to its proximity to the 3 Arena, it’s an ideal spot to catch a late pint after a gig. Opens late on Fridays and Saturdays.
Where: The Wiley Fox, Eden Quay, Dublin 1
More information: thewileyfox.ie
Eccentric and bold, this bar’s unconventional decor makes a statement but while the odd and the colourful might catch your eyes, the absurdly good cocktails and extensive whiskey selection will captivate your tastebuds. Stay in the main area for a roaring night soundtracked by a DJ or retreat to the stylish whiskey bar for a more relaxed soirée.
Where: 37 Dawson St, Dublin 2
More information: 37dawsonstreet.ie
This recently opened cocktail bar is connected to the glamorous Stella Theatre and it channels the same retro charms of its older sibling, the Vintage Cocktail Club, with lavish old school decor and a classic cocktail selection. Enjoy a beautiful tipple in this spacious 1920’s inspired bar before, after or instead of a great film. Open until 3:00 am Fridays and Saturdays and until 1:00 am the rest of the week.
Where: 207 Rathmines Road Lower, Rathmines, Dublin 6
More information: stellacocktailclub.ie
Gabriela’s passion for writing is only matched by her love for food and wine. Journalist, confectioner and sommelier, she fell in love with Ireland years ago and moved from Venezuela to Dublin in 2014.
Since then, she has written about and worked in the local food scene, and she’s determined to discover and share the different traditions, flavours and places that have led Irish food and drink to fascinate her.